When you reveal the logo you have been slaving over for days, weeks, months to the general public, someone somewhere will hate it. This is what we call an irrefutable fact. In 2017, it’s easier than ever to provide your personal opinion of others work.
I’ve already given you the play-by-play of what happens when new logos are released into the wild. As a spectator, I see those 5 stages play out on a regular basis. In recent weeks, I’ve witnessed the Twitter evisceration of the new Los Angeles Chargers logo and the new Juventus logo. Both franchises showed signs that they heard the backlash and made adjustments. Brandon Moore wrote a great piece about branding and the fear that can come with it, citing the storms these two specific brands dealt with. (I got a hardy laugh out of his “Cowards” tweet where he screenshot Juventus reverting back to its old logo on their Twitter account.)
Step 1: Believe
Day 1 acceptance of a new direction is rare. If you’ve putting in the work and come to the right solution for you / your client, stand by that work. Chances are most of the people reacting to the change have no idea about all the factors that went into the design decisions. Humans hate change to what they have already come to accept. In the case of Juventus FC, they have a great tradition that people felt they were losing with the new branding. They may not know that the franchise wants to position itself to reach new heights and new markets. I know some sports franchises want to expand their influence outside of the sports space. Think about this fact: There are people who own New York Yankees hats that have never watched a full inning of baseball.
You have the advantage of seeing the bigger picture. You’re designing for the future of the brand. You want to be ready for the space you want to inhabit in the minds of your target audience. We, spectators, aren’t in on those long strategy meetings. We aren’t seeing all those logo concepts laid out on that Adobe Illustrator extended artboard. After all you have done, you’ve arrived at the long sought after solution. Don’t let one day of negative reaction cancel everything. Your expertise and experience mean something.
Step 2: Execute
There have been logos I disliked (a lot) or been indifferent about UNTIL I saw them in action. This is why I usually reserve personal judgement on a logo until I see it in context. A minimalistic logo may seem to simple to some people until they see just how far it can go. It is very possible to win people over through the execution of the overall brand identity.
“If you’re going to brand or re-brand in a truly innovative way, you must have patience and you must have courage.”
Show is always better than tell. Prove your theory and decisions correct through your use of the logo. In sports, if your play works, you’re a genius. If it doesn’t, you’re a fool and the preponderance of sports talk shows will devote segments to bashing you. The initial thought of the playcall is meaningless, if it works. Value the overall vision more than the knee-jerk reaction.
Know what feedback to listen to and what to ignore. Don’t be so easily shaken after the first reveal.